Clothes makes the man

I really do like drawing and designing clothes. which is kind of odd since I don’t care at all how I dress in real life.

playing with shapes, playing with ideas, the norm. trying to make believable designs that I could see someone wearing in real life, even if they are not necessarily practical. these are intended for the renes, though I may end up stealing elements to use for other nations. the renes in particular do not like showing skin. part of that is their colder environment, but i would hazard a guess that their climate and their particulars of modesty play into each other over time. I think that tended to happen in real life.

patterns add some flavor, but they can be a little difficult and tedious to do in B&W without breaking silhouettes or muddying the body language. if I ever use designs in the comic I have to do B&W versions to make sure they work. but right now the shapes and the silhouette are more important.

Words about words

As mentioned previously, I spent a couple weeks before ch3 doodling the characters and trying to streamline them more before I had to draw them in motion. In hindsight I wish I did that more for ch2, but hopefully I learned my lesson.

Silne was based off of a sketch i did a couple years ago, and was originally going to be a specific different character. I ended up splitting Silne and this other character who I will still likely use. It wasn’t the right time yet. Though I don’t mention verbally it in the story, you can tell by the two sets of tattoos that she has that she was once married.

The story itself was one of the earlier ones I came up with and remained mostly unchanged, though of course I tweaked some details as I went. It was originally going to have much less of Arbo, the old man, but previous chapters focused quite heavily on two characters and I wanted to branch out just a little bit. I still think I enjoy working with few characters rather than a gigantic cast, at least in a per-chapter basis.

The armor of the rene took a little bit to get down too, since I wanted to show similarities with the armor in ch1 (for both Allano and Rene) without making them identical. they likely wouldn’t have much standardization between troops if this was real life, but you also want to make it recognizable to the reader. The allanos have armors similar to malwan’s outfit from ch1, but the militia organized halfway through the chapter is more rag-tag since they are not professionals. I ended up with the rene’s “shark tooth” helm because I thought it was cool and unique. All of these designs will likely show up in the future to some capacity.

sharp-eyed viewers of a previous post may be able to infer some interesting tidbits about the rene.

Tattoos: part 2

Body markings mainly serve an out-of-universe purpose of helping the audience to more easily tell non-human characters apart, but also have justified reasons in the world. Tattoos are extremely common for Arkan characters and are basically coat of arms for the family. The color, position, and design of the tattoos vary widely between cultures and even families, but similar styles obviously exist within close areas. The designs are designed primarily with the men in mind, as they are the ones whom the family line is passed down. Women generally receive father marks, which is about half of their family’s mark – they will later receive the other half of the mark of their husband to symbolize a unity of the two families. It is seen in poor taste for the father mark to be unnecessarily large compared to the husband’s or not leaving enough space for the wife’s other half, though this tends to happens more often than it would seem. Some families, especially wealthy ones, tend to make it almost a competition who can have the largest markings. For the reader this may not be shown in full as it will distract from body language.

Some powerful women that are unmarried may have the entire father mark. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to remove tattoos. They tend to be in areas easily viewable with clothing such as the face, arms and tail (though again for reader clarity this may not be accurately represented). Non-permanent body paint is also used in some circles, often for war or events.

The high Renes view the practice as barbaric. Note that they also treat their ridges in ways that the Arkans think of likewise. Other Arkans also may not tattoo as heavily, like the Otigos. 

Designs can change somewhat over generations, and some add in major family events on the tapestry for instance (e.g. grampa killed a bear so we’ll show him killing a bear in the design from now on). They also change if they find their design is at odds with the popular trends, and can also ‘suddenly’ change to just coincidentally mirror those in power or royalty. Royalty and nobles hate this and will charge commoners if they find their mark to be infringed and the line is often extremely blurred.


“Before him stood his bride-to-be, her angelic movements captivating the grocer utterly. Body clad in gown the color of the sky, crown adorned with sleek feathers, frills with beads of gold and white, and a smile of pearl. No other man was as blessed as he.”

The Tides, Peaks, and the Plains, -6y

The frills, otherwise known as leaves or folas, are a semiflexible structure on the side of our faces. Their existence has baffled thinkers and inquirers for ages, as they seemingly have no meaningful purpose or function, unique to other body parts. They do not aid in sensory input to any amplified degree of other areas of skin, nor do they aid in balance. The body can survive their removal, though blood loss and extreme pain will result initially. They do not grow back.

No notable difference in their structure exists between the two genders. Perhaps they serve no other function than to aid in facial recognition. Two lobes with the larger on top are most common, but while the structural difference between the two genders is minimal, the number and size of the frills can vary to the extreme between people. Parents often have similar looking frills to their children in this regard, like other facial and physical features.

Many Rene inquirers believe it is a vestigial structure, one that once had a purpose back when we were as a race closer to the appearance of horses. It may have had a function similar to the antennae that horses use to sense their surroundings. Others vehemently disagree, contending that it is a protostructure, one of the first steps to ascending to a higher plane of biology, and that its purpose will be clear as more of our being advances to compliment it. Developing to higher existence is one of the theoretical methods to usurp the Cycle, though dissenters hold that this has likely been achieved and therefore irrelevant.

< Back to main Lore page

Rene text

This comic is going to show a lot of different languages and accents. I never was too big a fan of the star trek-like tendency of making characters who are from very different regions speak the same language, especially in eras before mass communication or quick travel. back in ancient times it was common to develop extreme dialect differences even in fairly close areas just do to the difficulty of traveling to other regions. i want to try and show that here.

When a character speaks a language that’s foreign to the other characters, I’m generally going to leave it ‘untranslated’, and will avoid subtitles for the most part. generally the reader will be as in the dark as the characters are. i like this. it makes it seem more real. google translate didn’t exist in ancient times. it also kind of adds to the mystery and sense of wonder by experiencing different cultures, at least i hope.


the Rene text above is Gujarati script, a language and alphabet from western India. the font is courtesy of Google Noto, which is a pretty neat project that I would highly recommend checking out if you are also interested in different alphabets and languages. I wanted something foreign (to most americans) but still a believable-looking script. didn’t want something made-up like vulcan or whatever. I browsed through many different ones before deciding on Gujarati because it is pretty unknown in my region and looks very elegant while also simple. fitting for the Renes in the context of the story.

Different languages will be represented by different scripts, but I haven’t finalized most of them yet. I also need to figure out a way to convey accents of languages as well, which is a pretty interesting challenge. will try to avoid spelling out the words (ie texan: “‘ah love ya’ too”) so i’m coming up with other solutions. it’s annoying to read anyway and doesn’t really convey it the way i want.